Los Angeles, California: cult leader Charles Manson is convicted, along with followers
Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, and Patricia Krenwinkle, of the brutal 1969 murders
of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
1967, Manson established a cult based on his concept of "Helter Skelter"
an apocalyptic philosophy predicting an imminent race war in America which would
produce five ruling angels: Himself as the Jesus Christ figure and the four Beatles.
Manson managed to convince his followers that they should murder celebrities with
the aim of attracting interest to the cult. On August 7, 1969 they killed Sharon
Tate (heavily pregnant), wife of Roman Polanski, a film director, three of her
friends and an 18 year old male.
case went unsolved for over a year until the Manson connection was established.
Various members of the cult confessed, and Manson and five others were charged.
January 1972, Manson and three others were found guilty, and on March 29 all four
were sentenced to death. In 1972, the California Supreme Court abolished the death
penalty in California, and Manson and his followers' death sentences were reduced
to life imprisonment.